Winter Jazzfest: A New-World Meshing of Pop and Folk

Publication: New York Times ArtsBeat
Author: Nate Chinen
Date: January 12, 2013

Day 2 of Winter Jazzfest began, for me, with Claudia Acuña at the Bitter End, reharmonizing “You Are My Sunshine” for a standing-room crowd. I feel as if I’m still digesting last night’s offerings, including a brilliantly indeterminate set by the bassist Eric Revis, the pianist Kris Davis and the drummer Andrew Cyrille; and a midnight set by Nasheet Waits’s Equality, featuring the pianist Vijay Iyer. I tumbled into bed this morning at 3:30, and spent most of the day looking forward to more of the same.

Ms. Acuña’s set, or what I heard of it, was propulsive and polished, a new-world amalgam of pop harmony and folk rhythm. The strongest creative force in the band was the guitarist Mike Moreno, who fashioned a spectacularly fluent solo over a Gary McFarland tune. But there was a general cohesion among the band that resonated clearly with the crowd.clau

I’ll confess to an ulterior motive for staking out a spot at the Bitter End: the next set will be a solo saxophone performance by Colin Stetson, who excels in such a format. I’ve been listening a lot this week to “Stones” (Rune Grammofon), the album he just released with his fellow saxophonist Mats Gustafsson — look for my brief review in next Sunday’s Playlist, in Arts & Leisure — and I feel properly primed for his sound in this room. More soon.

Submitted by Bobby on January 14th, 2013 — 11:14am